Sunday, March 01, 2009

A sort of okay day of birding...

We have an unusual bird at RAPTOR....a species that we have only seen and treated 5 times in the past 30 years. While the Saturday volunteers were cleaning, I squeezed in and got a photo:

A Long-eared Owl.
Yes, he looks like a great-horned owl. But he's only half the size. Very cute. And seems to have some head trauma with resulting vision problems. Everyone keep those fingers crossed.
(He's supposed to have ear tufts, but he wasn't interested in showing them to me.)

Now. My day today.
I heard that the Oxbow had a bald eagle nest on some adjacent private property. I wanted to see if I could get a peek (without trespassing!).
I wandered back to an overlook and stopped.
I saw a large dark bird across the lake...hmm. Too mottled to be a vulture. Maybe a juvie bald eagle?
And damn tootin', it was.

Juv Bald eagle
And a very large flock (100 + ) of unknown gulls were swirling about. And about 30 crows.

This was very cool. I love eagles and don't get to seem them very often.
It got better. Another juvenile eagle joined the first one.

Two juv bald eagles
This is nice. Two eagles at once? I've never seen two at once.

To explain the suckiness of my photos, this is how far away I was:
Where I was watching the eagles
See that faaaarrrrr shore? The eagles were past that in another lake. I need to start saving my pennies and got a really LONG lens and a new camera.

I scanned with my binoculars in time to see a third juvenile join the first two.
Three juv bald eagles
Holy Mackerel. Three. Freakin'. Eagles.
I then scanned the whole shore, and counted at least SEVEN juveniles. SEVEN.

At this point, I was talking to myself....
"Holy s**t. Seven. Seven? Oh, wow.....wait. Oh. OH. OH!!!! Adults!!!!"
Three adults were flying in. That made ten.

Oh, and a pair of Northern Pintails landed in the lake in front of me.
northern pintails
Huh. Cool.

Let's look at the eagles some more.

Here's two of the adults:
Two adult bald eagles Oxbow

I can hear Dave rolling his eyes all the way from Alaska. Baldies are like trash birds up there.
But ten bald eagles in southeastern Indiana....that's just spectacular.
Never did see the nest.

On a totally unrelated note....Kenn Kaufman Friended me on Facebook. Maybe he just is looking for Friends because he's new to Facebook. But you all know that there will be no living with me now. I'm Kenn Kaufman's Friend.
: )


Mary said...

Me, too. HA! But there's a story about me and Kenn.

Kelly said...! I've been wanting to head over to the Oxbow, now I've really got to go!! Very cool...

LauraHinNJ said...

I want to hear Mary's story, of course!

Cool eagles... don't think I've ever seen that many together.

Lynne said...

Me too. I'm thinking he wants numbers because really, we're not that close.

Ask Mary about Kenn Kaufman.


Susan Gets Native said...

Now I have to know the story. You have a THING with KENN????

You absolutely need to get over there. Every season, there is something different to see. And right now, it seems, it's Bald Eagle Season.

Me, too. A connection between our Mary and Kenn? I want to hear all about it.
TEN. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

She HAS to tell us now. It's a matter of public record.

Kallen305 said...

Lucky girl being friends with Kenn!!

Love the bald eagle photos. My goal is to see at least one this year. I can't imagine seeing all the ones that you saw though!

NatureWoman said...

OMG Susan, look at all of those Bald Eagles!!! You must have been in heaven.
And I love the owl. Poor baby. I hope he'll be okay.

Mary said...

Ok. I should not have mentioned this at all.

Lynne IM'd me: Mary! Mary! Kenn Kaufman friended me on Facebook!!! Can you believe it?

I wrote back: Yeah, he friended me, too. But Lynne, who in the hell is Kenn Kaufman?

Lynne flipped out: Are you shitting me?

(I had a brain fart, that's all.)

Susan Gets Native said...

Well, that just made my day.

"Who the Hell is Kenn Kaufman?"

Kathiesbirds said...

Susan, how wonderful on the eagles and the friendship thing! You're my friend too, but I haven't got a facebook account (yet)!

Kathiesbirds said...

BTW, I just read that sonnet in your sidebar and LOVE IT!

Mel said...

Hola Susan,
That guy is sooo cute! Good for us that you managed to take a pic, I hope he gets better soon.
Eaglesssssssssssss, fuuuuuuuuuuuuun!!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

As many times as I think of going to the Oxbow, I've never been either!

An apparently too-long overdue destination.

RuthieJ said...

10 Bald Eagles! That's pretty darn cool Susan! I've never seen that many together in one place either.